From Dust launches on Xbox Live Arcade today - ahead of its arrival on PC and PSN later this year - and the first wave of review scores certainly hint at a digital classic.
The game, from Eric Chahi (of Another World fame), tools up the player with divine abilities. Using their influence over the elements and ability to reshape the landscape players must build a home for their tribes and protect them from the perils of mother nature.
Edge praises From Dust, saying it is "a sandbox so good, you might just forget your next objective". Its review says From Dust is a beautiful looking game and a "magnificent" experience. It awarded the game a 9/10 score.
GamesRadar says "From Dust is a singular experience that deserves a lot of credit for presenting something entirely unique", it says the god game is s "absolutely worth checking out" for gamers looking for "something well off the beaten path". However, it also points out "it's unfortunately bogged down by excessively frustrating later levels founded on trial and error, and irksome AI that undermines the precision the endgame demands". It stuck a 7/10 score on the game.
"From Dust is a magical evening in, and makes you think in a way that's novel and immensely rewarding. But be warned: the limited camera, the fineness of the controls and the tribal AI will occasionally annoy you, and it leaves you positively starving for more", says OXM in its review, it awarded From Dust a 7/10.
Eurogamer describes From Dust as "a big idea in a small package", although the "pressured, repetitive style of play doesn't flatter From Dust" overall it's "more of a sandbox than almost any 'open world' game. The site gave From Dust an impressive 9/10.
Continuing the praise is IGN, which gave it an overall score of 8.5, saying "From Dust is memorable, beautiful and unique, something that stays in your mind long after you've moved on to something else" and a game that is "as fascinating to watch as it is to play".
GiantBomb's 4/5 review sumarises From Dust as a "robust downloadable" that "reminds you why it's so much fun to play video-game god".
1UP's reviewer went with a B grade, saying "From Dust reinvents the god game genre by adding a touch of tension to the formula", concluding by saying "while the plodding pace of its first half is off-putting, the second half and the challenge levels become so gripping".
Joystiq's critic opted for a 3.5/5 score, and says "From Dust looks and feels different from anything I've played before and, for a while, that was enough. But before long, I began to feel a sneaking kinship with Aladdin's genie, whose enjoyment of his phenomenal cosmic power was tempered only by his itty-bitty living space.
VideoGamer says "It's easy to appreciate From Dust, but harder to enjoy it. Regardless of this fact, it's an important game - bold, innovative and different - and well worth checking out during the summer drought", its review pegged the game with a 7/10 score.
Providing the dissenting opinion is Destructoid. It says "There's just not enough content and too many restrictions for the game to be truly engaging. It keeps the player at arm's length, removes any motivation for feeling responsible and, at its very worst, annoys with persistent feelings of helplessness and characters who couldn't tell their arses from their elbows". It gave the game 5.5/10.